Stone’s Warehouse Goes Mixed-Use With Townhomes and Retail Space

Stone's Warehouse

Stone’s Warehouse, February 2016.

Plans are surfacing a bit on the future of Stone’s Warehouse, the former bus repair facility and senior health care center located at 500 East Davie Street. The future mixed-use site will include retail across both the existing warehouse building and a new construction building. 15 townhomes will also be built on the site.

If not familiar with the site, pan around it here on Google maps to see Stone’s Warehouse and the former Rex Senior Health Care Center buildings. The warehouse will be renovated while the white building where the health center once was, will be removed. To the south, the open area will contain a public plaza and new building for additional retail space.

View of Stone's Warehouse from Google Maps

View of Stone’s Warehouse from Google Maps

Looking at the plans, I see some smart, urban aspects to the layout of the buildings and how the plaza incorporates into the fabric of the neighborhood. The Administrative Alternate Request that was submitted for this project shows the public plaza and crosswalk creating a connection through the block from the Chavis Way greenway on to East Street. From the request:

The pedestrian access will physically and visually connect Chavis Way and the adjacent greenway to the plaza amenity and through to East Street through a series of cross-access agreements, effectively segmenting the parking where an island would normally be located. The plaza will be open to the public as well as tenants and is supported as an approporiate use of an urban open space for a mixed-use proprty by City of Raleigh through their RFP process.

Trees that are currently at the site will be moved to align with this plan, as shown in the sketch below.

Pedestrian Cross-access planned for Stone's Warehouse.

Pedestrian Cross-access planned for Stone’s Warehouse. Click for larger.

The 15 townhomes will line Chavis Way, built in sets of five resulting in three separate groups of units. The plans appear to show garages for the townhomes so residents won’t have to compete for parking. 52 parking spaces will be included as well to support the retail buildings.

This is a great, unique project in a transitional area. Residents in the core should have an easy time walking to the site while those in neighborhoods should not have difficulty getting here by bike or car. It’ll be great to watch the renovation take place.

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  1. Very exciting! This with The Pink Building art gallery across the street are going to help transform east Downtown

  2. Has a ton of potential. Just to state what I think is obvious…the grocery space is a new building yes? Leo, do you know the size of the grocery space? It looks to be less than 10k sqft which seems kind of small. I really really want a place that sells food and not just cheap beer and cigarettes. I realize the landlord (Jason?) has all the say so in that, so perhaps he’s queuing this up around a known possible tenant? I’d love to hear any insider info on this as part of the reason I’ve sunk some roots over here/there now was that this was on the horizon. Cheers and thanks.

  3. @Mark. It sure looks like the grocery is the new building. It took me a minute to get oriented since the aerial shot is backward to the site plan in the story. I’m curious if that public plaza is going to be open air, semi-covered or fully covered.
    As for the grocery store, it would seem that a small store would be expensive. If so, that’s going to be unfortunate.

  4. I’m not sure of the size of the new building but it will be a few floors (2 or 3) so the grocer could potentially be on multiple floors.

  5. FWIW, I found an old article on the wildly successful Weaver St. Market in Carrboro and it first opened with 7,500 SF of space. I’m sure it’s more today but, still, not that big of a place.

    I hope the grocer at Stone’s doesn’t try to market specialty (aka “expensive”) merchandise. Likely won’t work if they do.

  6. The Raleigh Public Record mentioned recently that the Saxapahaw General Store was in talks of taking the Stones Warehouse space as the grocer. I’ve never been, but they seem to carry more specialty + local products.

    Unrelated: as the bus passed 109 S Salisbury St tonight I noticed a new awning and what appeared to be a bar. Apparently Capital City Tavern expanded. I haven’t seen that discussed anywhere. It’s not a spot I frequent but it looked nice as we passed it.

  7. With Standard Foods not so far away in Person St Plaza, I can’t imagine why they’d think an expensive “specialty” grocer would make sense. A Weaver St Market would be incredible – they do carry some local and specialty products but they are more comparable to a Fresh Market or a small Whole Foods- lots of organic stuff, and made to order food that you can eat there, restaurant style. It would be the best of both worlds; a place where people could come shop for food and/or sit down and grab a bite to eat. Could then leave plenty of room in the other planned retail spaces for actual retail! However, if the grocery store is planned to be a couple floors, why not go for a NYC style Trader Joes? People LOVE their Trader Joes, and it’s less expensive than most fair trade/organic grocery stores.

  8. Here is the link for Saxapahaw General Store:
    It calls itself ‘your five star gas station’ but the selection seems like Fresh Market and Cracker Barrel had a baby. They have a restaurant too. If it’s what we end up with I’m sure it will do well. Given how many high end apartments, condos, and townhouses are in the vicinity and Standard Foods isn’t in easy walking distance I think they’d be fine. One will serve the newly gentrifying South/Central Eastern edge of downtown and the other will draw from the Peace/Mordecai communities. Now if Taz ever actually opens his spot at the bottom of the Skyhouse I could see a turf war breaking out. But that’s been dragging on for so long and enough new development will be happening in the coming years that I think they could all exist together. Raleigh’s downtown is starting to buy into the concept of livable communities. That isn’t synonymous with affordable and it will be reflected in the types of grocery stores that move in. They need to turn a profit against high rents, not a lot of parking, and the knowledge that the people who live downtown can afford to pay more for convenience + quality. It’s not surprising to me the city and Downtown Raleigh Alliance couldn’t get a chain to bite no matter how many incentives they dangled. Quite frankly they didn’t need to either and we’ve ended up with 3 stores due to what the market demands. But of course don’t forget cheap fruits + veggies are still available at City Market Produce for those who can’t afford to pay a premium.

  9. I’m a big fan of Saxapahaw General Store. It’s authentic. It does a good job handling several of it’s communities needs at once. Affordable is great and all, but if that means wonder bread and frosted flakes then neither this community nor any other needs affordable stuff. That healthy food is often not affordable seems like a concern to be addressed at a level beyond Stone’s Warehouse. Perhaps its as simple as the more places there are offering healthy and locally sourced foods, the cheaper it’ll get. Trader Joes does that on volume as much as with direct sourcing. Everything being discussed sounds good.

  10. I really think a Publix, Wegmans, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s would be perfect downtown. All of them have some “normal” food that isn’t like Standard Foods (which I absolutely love, but c’mon that’s not meant for mass appeal). Sax General is also pretty cool, and I would be happy to see it in that space, but another grocery somewhere else would really be good. I’ve been to so many downtown grocery stores in the last few years, and they all work fine. It shouldn’t be THAT hard to get one downtown.

  11. Here are some freestanding grocery examples that would work very well in concept if not design. Frankly, the Fresh Market one would work great in both concept and design in Raleigh. in all cases, the stores are up against the sidewalk and have parking on their roofs to minimize the footrprint. This concept would also work as the base of a tower, as is being tossed around as an idea for Hillsborough street.

  12. Very excited for this in our neighborhood! Are there any details on the townhomes planned?

  13. Is the Downtown food court legit? This article is from a year ago but haven’t seen any real work going on in that space

  14. Does the Charter Square article indicate when they will actually start construction?

  15. “The design and style of the tower will also be similar to the $93 million office and apartment tower that Dominion Realty Partners is also planning in Richmond, Virginia.” Cool let’s not have any original looking buildings in Raleigh, let’s keep ctrl+C ctrl+V-ing all new buildings, just like SkyHouse. Yeah.

  16. Right, Jake?! I liked the previous design better – it was a bit more unique. Oh, well – I’m still happy it’s getting built. And who knows, since they decided to change the roof design of Charter Square South halfway through construction, maybe we’ll see another redesign.
    And I seem to like the one they’re building in Richmond better (or maybe it’s just the rendering/angle):

  17. @Simon – I don’t mind the new design, I actually think it looks nice. Just saw that quote in the TBJ article and had to roll my eyes. But looking at the render you’ve shared, what the hell- that looks so much better! I have always liked the Richmond skyline- not for the buildings (lots of ug in there) but mainly for the density- but that is a legitimately beautiful looking building. Almost seems like we’re getting the after-thoughts.

  18. Jake – yes, the one proposed for Richmond does look nice (and not very similar to Charter Square North, IMO). I agree – Richmond’s skyline has density. Hoping all of the proposed projects we keep hearing about get off the ground soon so that our skyline gets some more density, too. Fingers crossed.

  19. So this development is really fantastic. Where do all the existing folks go as they get priced out of their n-hood?

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